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Laurie Niles

2012 Tournament, Round 1, Day 6: Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 vs. Sibelius Violin Concerto

March 19, 2012 at 6:13 PM

We resume our Violin Tournament today, with the Sibelius Violin Concerto vs. Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1!

Sibelius Prokofiev

Yes it's a vote, but please also look at it as a chance to measure your thoughts, talk about your favorite recordings, share experiences, historical info, and whatever else you'd like to add in relation to these concertos.

Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, opus 19, by Sergei Prokofiev

Premiered in 1923, the concerto begins with a dreamy first movement, moves to a wickedly wild "Scherzo" second movement (fast, not slow!) then a third movement that's kind of all over the place, with moments intimate and very outward, big and small, meandering in places and directed in others. It has that signature eloquence mixed with abandon that musicians tend to love in Prokofiev.

Here is violinist Hilary Hahn, performing with conductor Lorin Maazel and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Part 1: Movement 1, Andantino

Part 2: Movement 2, Scherzo Vivacissimo

Part 3: Movement 3, Moderato

Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47, by Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius completed his violin concerto in 1904, apparently in an alcoholic fog. He was a late-starting violinist himself (having taken it up at age 14), and his love for the violin was deep: he aspired -- and failed -- to become a great violinist. Nevertheless he wrote one of the best violin concertos we have. In fact, the violin concerto was the only "concerto" he wrote for any instrument. It's like no other violin concerto; what piece of music depicts the beauty of an icy landscape better than the opening of the Sibelius VC?

Here is a really lovely performance, with violinist Lisa Batiashvili, conductor Sakari Oramo and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Part 1: Movement 1, Allegro moderato

Part 2: Movement 1, continued, cadenza.

Part 3: Movement 2, Adagio di molto

Part 4: Movement 3, Allegro ma non tanto

From Evan Hubener
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM
Christian Ferras

From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 7:03 PM
Evan, what a great recording, what vibrato!
From Simon Streuff
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 7:27 PM
Leonida Kavakos
From Michael Bechtel
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 7:34 PM
Benjamin Beilman - Sibelius
The Prokofiev is also a really great piece, but I had to choose Sibelius...
From Wayne Wilkinson
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 7:56 PM
I do like the Prokofiev #1, but had to go with Sibelius. If its was Prokofiev #2 vs. Sibelius I would have been in a state of existential uncertainty from which there would have been no escape.
From Simon Streuff
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 9:41 PM
I hate the GEMA! I cant watch Lisa's Sibelius
From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 9:57 PM
The German musicians union?
From Corwin Slack
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Two fine concertos. Hard pick. I am with Wayne though. If it had been Prokofiev No. 2 I may have dropped Sibelius.
From Matthew Dakoutros
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 10:38 PM
This was too hard but I had to go with Sibelius, as m5ost people, as it seems.
From Simon Streuff
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 10:59 PM
No, it should be FOR musicians. But they disable also official content. Its an association dealing about copyright of music:

From Joshua De Anda
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 2:35 AM
Must be Sibelius. I must remark that my favourite version is Chee-Yun. Does anyone know where I can find a recording of Chee-Yun playing the Sibelius?
From Malik Chaney
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 2:53 AM
I don't mean to be rude but if Sibelius lost I think I'd have lost all faith in humanity.
From Michael Pijoan
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 3:58 AM
I love Sibelius but I voted for Prokofiev 1. I enjoyed studying it more.
From Paul Deck
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I enjoyed studying the Sibelius more, but that was back before I got my del Gesu.

@Joshua if you type "chee-yun sibelius" into YouTube you will get some videos to watch.

From Hannah Williams
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM
Definitely the Sibelius. And yay! You posted a video of Lisa Batiashvili! In my opinion she and Benjamin Beilman play the Sibelius the best.
From julio Custode
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 5:13 PM
I guess I'm one of the few to go with Prokofiev. Oh well, the Sibelius was great too. Although really Malik?... "all faith in humanity"

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